Hyping CM Punk's much-anticipated return to the squared circle on Sunday night at WWE Payback, the Chicago Tribune has published an article profiling his first wrestling venture; a stint in the late 1990's for a backyard wrestling promotion called Lunatic Wrestling Federation. The organization is where the WWE Superstar debuted his CM Punk persona.
The head of the defunct promotion, Larry Statkus, who goes under the name "Billy Whack," noted to the publication that he met Punk and his older brother Mike at a comic book store where Statkus worked. Punk and his older brother subsequently joined the promotion as wrestlers, but the brother relationship dissolved after he discovered that Mike had embezzled thousands of dollars from the small company, causing them to become estranged. Punk told the Tribune last year, "the only thing my brother ever did to me was steal a (crap) load of money from me."
When WWE released the CM Punk - Best in the World DVD and Blu-ray last year, Statkus was concerned that Punk would disparage Lunatic Wrestling Federation. However, that was not the case.
"He was very positive about LWF stuff," said Statkus.
In recent years, Statkus has attempted to reach out to Punk through social media network Twitter, but has not heard back. Nonetheless, he is happy for his former colleague's success.
"I honestly think his promos are fantastic. His wrestling is fantastic. It's great. It's just bittersweet," Statkus said. "You want to be proud but you can't talk to the guy anymore."
According to the article, a WWE spokesperson said Punk could not be reached for comment on Statkus.